A psychologist has made the assertion that young gay men are highly regarded by their peers simply for being gay.
Max Morris, a doctorate student at Durham University, has noted that young gay men are thought of highly in their peer groups because of their sexuality – rather than in spite of it.
Morris coined the term ‘Gay Capital’ to describe this phenomenon, which he elaborated as “a form of privilege in inclusive, post-gay social fields.”
Morris interviewed 40 gay men in the UK about subjects including sexual identity, gender, and social media. He noted that “rather than being ostracized or victimized due to their sexual-minority status, the young men in this study were accepted and celebrated for being gay, sometimes interpreting their sexuality as a form of social privilege.”
The straight friends of these gay men, according to Morris, seek them out “for advice, and for modelling avant-garde appearance, language, and dress.”
For Morris, this culture has emerged from a number of shifting social trends; including the decline of instances of direct homophobia, the questioning of notions of masculinity, and the increased mixing of LGBT+ people with their straight peers in social spaces.
This study comes a few weeks after research that unearthed the reason why straight men tell homophobic jokes.
That study, carried out by Western Carolina University, found that “disparaging jokes are a way for some men to reaffirm their shaky sense of self, especially when they feel their masculinity is being threatened.”